Cruising through the (is it even a) Derby Week, trying to put the annoyances of poor officiating and irritatingly entitled children of former Bundesgliga-ers out of mind. It’s not been easy, but it’s probably better this happened at the front end of the season, rather than toward the finish. Points are points regardless of time of season, but there’s simply too much time to make-up for that point drop to fret now. Don’t need to finish with all the points, just more than 16 other clubs.
It’s the middle of the week. Let’s just get to it!
- I know that yesterday I found the Punkteklau video to be witty and fun, but I completely discounted just how quickly it would get old, as Fortuna fans continue to slaver over the thing. And to think they’ve made available that song for download, meaning surely some fools will willingly listen to it more than once….Widderlich.
- I can’t think of a better response than what 1. FC Köln posted via Vine. I like the dismissive nature of it, while not completely pretending to be above taking a jab. Well, then this:
For my money (I have very little money here, but work with me), Tobias Kaufmann and Maurice Sonneveld are right on point!
- In a real attempt at making themselves a nuisance, however, Fortuna fans have made plain their wish to walk as a group from the Ehrenfeld train station along Aachener Street to the stadium before the match, rather than the Deutz stop reserved for visiting fans.
Even without knowledge of the train stations and their placement from the stadium, I think it’s safe to assume the Deutz station is used for good reasons, many of which would revolve around keeping trouble between fan groups minimized by reducing opportunity for contact.
Hence, it’s not a stretch for me to think that when the Ultras Düsseldorf cry that they are within their legal rights to make the walk and that they’re doing nothing more than avoiding overcrowded transport while maximizing their enjoyment of a long-awaited match day, they’re actually looking forward to creating a scene in Köln and attempting to draw Köln fan groups into starting trouble. They also can’t be so dim they don’t realize they’d be forcing local police to stretch themselves even thinner than they might already be.
On the other hand, were I attending a match on the road, I’d want to have a nice walk to the stadium to take in the scenery and the atmosphere; I just wouldn’t be doing it in a huge group in the gear of a rival. I tend to be a reasonably considerate visiting fan. This doesn’t seem like that.
For a much better and well-informed opinion on the situation, head over the Effzeh.com and read Dominik Hardt’s piece. We have similar attitudes toward what it means to be a sports fan and where lines get crossed.
I DO know that, should something ugly happen, it’ll be one of those rare occasions where I’ll be asked about the Effzeh by friends here in the US. Nothing makes the otherwise disinterested take notice of a German soccer team like a little violence does. As it was after the post-relegation ugliness, I’ll likely hear, “Dude…isn’t that your favorite team? What’s up with your fans?”
I beg of everyone, let the game be the interesting news from this weekend!
- I don’t know whether I’m ever going to be a 10-year member of the club, but I definitely appreciate that the 1. FC Köln salutes their long-term members. Congrats to FCBarny on playing his part.
Admittedly, I get scarves every year with the season tickets I coordinate for people at work for Seattle Sounders, but it’s not quite the same. You’d get one tomorrow if you ordered season tickets, I think, though I could just send one to you (I have a few!).
- The next edition of “Verbal Exchange” is posted at Der 4. Offizielle. This week’s guest is Nicola, a “real Düsseldorf girl,” who looks forward to to attending the match Sunday.
Nicola, of course, hopes for a victory, though made no prediction to counter the 3:1 offered by her interrogator.
I’ll just hope she enjoys herself and can be okay heading home without points, though with many good memories of a fun day in Köln.
- Peter Stöger also has a wish for Sunday’s clash of Rhine rivals, telling ksta.de’s Christian Oeynhausen that, as a “peace-loving man” he hopes for a lack of off-pitch drama.
“I know about such rivalries from Wien, if not quite to the same extent,” said Stöger when asked about concern on the part of authorities with regard to fan clashes. “I am always very happy when the entire story revolves around fair playing conditions on the field. That’s what I want.”
Stöger was also asked about the Michael Rensing saga, but, despite the in-limbo keeper’s connections to both the Effzeh and their Sunday opponent, the coach seemed completely disinterested.
“I don’t care. They had a keeper on Monday, and they will have a keeper here in Köln on Sunday.”
Now that I’ve typed that, I’m not sure what other answer you might expect a coach to give, but I do like that answer.
- Of no use to me is the announcement by WestDeutsche Zeitung that they’ll be running a full interview with Herr Stöger in tomorrow’s print edition. But, as many of this site’s readers are located in Germany, perhaps my sharing the news here will be of use to someone.
- I don’t recall whether I linked to it prior, but it’s worth a repeat since they are the opponent this weekend. Bundesliga Fanatic has several club previews posted, one of which is Travis Timmons’ Fortuna Düsseldorf piece. It’s all in English, so read that and then poke around!
That should do it for today. Going to spend some time pondering whether I should replace Thomas Bröker in my Wunschelf for Sunday with Daniel Halfar, or keep the former Fortuna man in for whatever emotional boost he may provide in such a situation.
Until then, Tschuß!